CEDAR FALLS | Paul Collins has been touring long enough to pick up some patterns at live rock shows in clubs large and small.
“A lot of people seem to come to the conclusion that local bands don’t need money,” Collins said.
Another pattern is that people show up late, so the local opener holds the door, and then the touring headline act ends up playing much later.
On the Paul Collins Beat’s latest tour, the Garageland Tour, Collins plans to bring more people out earlier and help open opportunities (and maybe wallets) for small, DIY bands. Each show will start with a ticketed record fair and happy hour before the live music.
“We’re trying to make each show more of an event,” Collins said.
During the tour, each venue will host an area record store which will bring a selection of music similar to the style of rock the musicians will play, posters or shirts. The record fair and record swap happy hour before the show will be part of the ticketed event. Collins said he will launch that format Jan. 10 at a show with Waterloo power pop trio Twins at Octopus College Hill in Cedar Falls.
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“I’m looking forward to it,” said David Diebler, Octopus owner. “Record swaps are so much fun.”
“This is grass-roots rock and roll,” Collins said, adding it will connect bands and small labels with record stores and venues with bands from across the country.
Record stores across the country including Burger Records in Los Angeles and Antone’s Record Shop in Austin, Texas have gotten behind the plan. It will not only help small bands get their music into markets across the country, but will likely bring a strong, paying crowd to support the local bands and clubs.
“The clubs depend on local support to have a good night,” he said.
On the other hand, it’s the small clubs that offer genuine music experiences, he added.
“You can’t get that in-your-face rock-and-roll experience except in these clubs,” Collins said. “You should be honored to put your $10 down for that and be grateful.”